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Chapter Three THE   CHINESE  MIND
IF the preceding chapter on the Chinese character has any general conclusion^ it is that of the supremacy of the human mind over material surroundings. Supremacy of the mind has more than one meaning. It means not only the application of human cunning to convert a world known to be full of pain and misery into a habitable place for human beings, but it implies also a certain contempt for mere physical courage and strength as such. Confucius long ago condemned the Jack Dempsey type of physical courage in his disciple Tzulu5 and I am sure he would have preferred a Gene Tunney who could be at home in circles of educated friends as well. Mencius, too, distinguished between mental labour and manual labour, and did not hesitate to put the former above the latter. For the Chinese had no nonsense about equality^ and respect for the mental labourers or the educated class has been an outstanding characteristic of the Chinese civilization.
This respect for learning must be taken in a different sense from that usually understood in the West3 for, devoted as some Chinese scholars are to their learning^ the devotion of some Western professors to their special subjects, sometimes amounting to a morbid pride and professional jealousy,> seems to me much more impressive. The Chinese respect for the scholar is based on a different conception,, for they respect that type of education which increases his practical wisdom, his knowledge of world affairs, and his judgment in times of crisis. It is a respect which5 in theory at least, must be earned by actual worth. In local as in national troubles, the people look to him for cool judgments for far-sightedness, for a better en» visagement of the manifold consequences of an act or decision*